Remembering Black

Remembering Black

This vacation is too long said no one ever…but mine is approaching that line. I am beyond tired of my clothes and feel like I have mixed and matched these pieces ad nauseam. Part of my problem is I packed very few black items.

Neutrals are critical for a successful travel wardrobe. They allow easy mixing and matching but more importantly, they are often supporting players which make them unmemorable.

My current travel wardrobe is based around white which isn’t as successful as black has been. Black allows you to stretch your wardrobe more successfully.

Yesterday we played tourist in Victoria, BC.

I wore blue jeans, a white tank, a striped linen shirt and a big hat. Don’t get me wrong, I love these clothes, I’m just tired of them. It was too warm for necklaces so I wore a simple blue bracelet and added fun earrings.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled life at the Empress hotel in Victoria, BC

The weather was perfect and Victoria was teeming with tourists. We wandered through the Fairmont and was surprised at the changes. The Empress has undergone a massive renovation and I was sad to see all the ivy pulled down. In years past almost the entire front was covered with lush ivy.

The gardens are as lush and gorgeous as ever. Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled life at the Empress hotel in Victoria, BCWe weren’t dressed for afternoon tea in the lobby so may return for it later this week. There is no strict dress code and I saw all manner of fashion statements being made but I prefer to dress the part when enjoying something elegant like high tea at the Empress.

I did do some online shopping at the Nordstrom sale and will try to share with you tomorrow. While hunting for a link for my blue linen shirt, I found it in rose, on sale here and ordered it:)

Thanks for reading ladies and have a great day!


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  1. Pat Englund
    July 21, 2018 / 8:42 am

    I agree about black! We’re on extended travel now too and I brought black skinny slacks, cropped casual and Capri style. Also two tank tops, one casual and one dressier, and to top off, a lightweight cardigan to tie or throw over my shoulders and a summer knit dressier type. It’s worked out great as I haven’t found a color black doesn’t make look more striking! Thanks for all your great travel tips.

    • July 21, 2018 / 9:46 am

      Have fun Pat, it sounds like a great travel wardrobe.

  2. Deede
    July 19, 2018 / 8:56 am

    LOVETH black!…..Can’t bother with the “it makes you look older”… crowd…

    • July 19, 2018 / 5:07 pm

      I love it too, no matter how much it ages my face;)

  3. July 18, 2018 / 10:10 pm

    We’ve had tea at Apkhazi Garden several times. The garden is beautiful and a wonderful love story. Government House is just down the street. It’s free to stroll through the lovely gardens which are lovingly maintained by volunteers with wonderful vistas looking south across the straight to the Olympics Mountains. I don’t know if it’s still there, but we happened upon a wonderful exhibit around the back of fashions worn by Victoria’s ladies through the last 100+ years. There’s also a tea room, but nothing grand. If afternoon tea is your thing, one of my favorite places is The White Heather Tearoom. It’s much less expensive and much better food, but unfortunately not in a grand location. If you want a bit of British kitch, stop by the James Bay Tearoom behind the parliament building. We usually stop in for breakfast and enjoy the British royalty plates and photos wallpapering the walls. I could go on, but I’d have to start my own blog! We are leaving for Victoria in a few days. Can’t wait!! It’s one of our favorite places and we’ve visited many times.

    • July 19, 2018 / 5:13 pm

      It sounds amazing! We’re going to try and visit tomorrow. I hope you get nice weather when you’re here Susan.

    • July 18, 2018 / 7:51 pm

      It sounds lovely! We will try to see it

    • Joanna
      July 18, 2018 / 8:09 pm

      I will certainly visit the Abkhazi Gardens on my next visit down island. It looks lovely and will hopefully not have the crowds of the Butchart Gardens. Thank you for the link, Anon.

  4. Allison
    July 18, 2018 / 1:52 pm

    Ok, ok…I am so going to get flack for this but what is served at The Empress is NOT High Tea..it can be referred to as an English Tea, or Afternoon Tea but it is not HIGH TEA. High tea is more like dinner or supper if you prefer and is served later than afternoon tea. It consists of slightly heartier fare like bangers and mash or mac and cheese. High tea in England would never have the fancy sandwiches and cakes because that would not be considered enough food to keep one going through the evening. High Tea sounds really grand but the truth is it’s what the labourers or working class folks had when they came home. The toffs(or the well heeled) had afternoon tea to hold them over until dinner was served around eight pm. A few finger sandwiches and cakes and a glass of sherry would do to keep one’s strength until it was time to dress for dinner in the dining room.
    Lucky am I to hop on a bus and amble downtown to The Empress’s little cousin for afternoon tea, The Chateau Laurier nestled up next to Parliament Hill or to the impressive Chateau Montebello 45 min down the river in Québec but for shear awe and majesty and a view the Chateau Frontenac in Québec City is a must for afternoon tea with a little French flair!!
    Whatever you want to call it, enjoy!! Bye the bye I adore black in the summer..black linen trousers are awesome, and do not show the grime of travel.

    • July 18, 2018 / 4:34 pm

      Thanks for clearing that up! From the size of the trays of sandwiches, I’m guessing it would hold me over until dinner;). We are going tomorrow so I’ll let you know. I love black linen. So true about grime not showing on black. White on the other hand…

  5. July 18, 2018 / 11:57 am

    There is no place quite like Victoria. We live in Vancouver and hop the ferry often for a 3 or 4 day trip there. We have our special walk routes that we enjoy along the beaches, dinner at Oak Bay Marina, Buchart Gardens, the Empress, what’s not to like. So glad you enjoyed it all, remember to come back you are always welcome.

    • July 18, 2018 / 4:35 pm

      It’s really so lovely. We drive the shoreline too and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Lucky you!!

  6. Ali
    July 18, 2018 / 11:32 am

    We were fortunate to have been able to eat in the Bengal Lounge years ago. I remember the curry. If you have a chance go to Hughes clothing store…wonderful choices…

    • July 18, 2018 / 4:37 pm

      I remember having a drink in the Bengal. It was very very special. I’m glad they kept it. I’ll google Hughes. Thanks for the tip

  7. Sue
    July 18, 2018 / 9:37 am

    While traveling, I prefer dark colors—black, gray, denim blue— because when I spill my coffee it won’t show. And if gone long enough to have to wash clothes at a hotel, I can throw everything together in one load. I will wear a white tank under an overshirt or sweater.

    • July 18, 2018 / 4:38 pm

      Great point about dark clothes. We’ve had to do laundry many times during this trip and always need multiple loads to keep the whites clean. It is a pain.

  8. Roberta
    July 18, 2018 / 8:59 am

    Black is huge staple in my wardrobe – both winter & summer. However, I like to inject white and other colours in summer to my basic black pieces, especially when the temperatures start to soar. By the way, if you want to do any shopping while in Victoria, check out one of my favourite stores – “Aurea” on Johnson Street – great clothing and locally made jewelry!

    • July 18, 2018 / 4:40 pm

      Oh thanks for the tip!! Going shopping tomorrow and I’ll try to find this place.

  9. Joanna
    July 18, 2018 / 8:04 am

    I know it’s under new ownership. The locals were terribly upset at some of the changes. I’m pleased to hear the gardens are still wonderful. I hope you get a chance for high tea. Please, let me know your thoughts. I haven’t been since the changes and hope it remains just as special.
    My gracious, Jennifer! Go shopping in Vistoria! You’ll find some wonderful pieces to spruce up your tired wardrobe.

  10. Anon
    July 18, 2018 / 7:38 am

    You know why they took the ivy down? I thought it was because of damage to the bricks, but no. The issue was raccoons! Apparently the little beggars were room raiding when guests opened windows. If you saw the recent pigeon story (hilarious and true), it seems the hotel has had enough of the animal kingdom.

    Glad I saw thr Bengal Room brfore the tiger went AWOL.

  11. Suzi
    July 18, 2018 / 7:26 am

    Lots of white linen in my future as we will be in Victoria in 2 weeks. Would love to hear your thoughts (as a former “local”) on what you would do/see if you had only 48 hours in Victoria. The gardens with dinner on site are the only set plans so far.

  12. July 18, 2018 / 7:09 am

    I have the same problem every time we go on an extended trip. We were in Hawaii for 4 1/2 weeks earlier this year, and by the end of the trip, I could have cheerfully stuffed all the clothes I brought in the nearest garbage bin! When we go on vacation, I tend to pack lightly with lots of mixing and matching. That’s good…and it’s bad too,

    • July 18, 2018 / 8:26 am

      So true Barb but 4 1/2 weeks in Hawaii sounds rather awesome 😉 I didn’t think I packed that lightly but it turns out I did.

  13. July 18, 2018 / 6:49 am

    Sad to hear the ivy had been torn down. Was privileged to have high tea there several years ago. Beautiful place, beautiful city.

    • July 18, 2018 / 7:08 am

      Lots of changes inside too. The Bengal Room is only used for events now so you can’t get in but at least they didn’t remove it.

  14. Wendy
    July 18, 2018 / 5:20 am

    I used to wear black all the time – until I had to wear it to work every day! Now grey is my black & I am much more comfortable in it. Still like black on others though. I agree that high tea at the Empress deserves clothing to match the occasion. How can it seem special if you aren’t dressed for the experience?

    • July 18, 2018 / 7:05 am

      I totally agree Wendy. It feels more special when dressed for the occasion. I love gray too and brought one cashmere wrap which I was very happy to have. Gray is a wonderful alternative for black.

  15. July 18, 2018 / 5:03 am

    We just returned from a two week vacay in Ireland and I can say I was so sick of my clothes after that! I did take a lot of black and navy and tops to coordinate. I took both winter and summer clothing, which was a good thing because the temps went from 82 F. to 40 F. in two weeks! The only thing that kept me mollified regarding my wardrobe was since we were traveling every day, my wardrobe was “new” every day to those new people we met! We had a fantastic time! what a beautiful country.

    • July 18, 2018 / 7:03 am

      Ireland is so gorgeous! Lucky you Linda. It does help when traveling each day but we do still see ourselves 😉

    • Ann Marie
      July 20, 2018 / 4:19 am

      Same here. I think you will get sick of any wardrobe after two weeks, even if it includes black. I went to Sicily for two weeks and took a lot of black, which I regretted. I wished I had brought more color. The fact is that if you like fashion and care about what you wear, living out of a suitcase and wearing the same thing over and over again will take its toll no matter what is packed inside.

      • July 20, 2018 / 9:35 am

        I completely agree Ann Marie!

  16. July 18, 2018 / 4:43 am

    I wear it all year long…and I am noticing more and more ladies of a certain age who do wear it all year. I still embrace color and lighter fabrics, but have to wear my black for work and special occasions. I know I will be glad when you return!! But, enjoy all those moments.

    • July 18, 2018 / 7:00 am

      There was a time I wore black all the time. Often all black.. but it’s too hot for our weather back home. I do enjoy the lift I get from color too!

  17. Lea
    July 18, 2018 / 4:20 am

    Good morning Jennifer. You’re right, a little bit of black goes a long way to change up our looks, but too hot for it this summer, though!
    Mmm, high tea! That’s one of my favourite activities at all the Fairmonts I see and I also prefer to dress up a bit. Enjoy!

    • July 18, 2018 / 6:57 am

      There were several ladies wearing fascinators who looked wonderful! I do love dressing up

  18. Janet
    July 18, 2018 / 4:19 am

    You are so right about black. I wear very little of it in the summer since i want to embrace all the lovely summer colour and pattern and frankly after 8 months of cold weather and lots of black I am sick of it. It is the wardrobe “rock” though.

    • July 18, 2018 / 6:56 am

      It was too warm to wear much black back home so I forgot how important it is to my travel wardrobe.

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